The Library, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia

I had been in KL for about 36 hours.  I was slowly coming to terms with the fact that I could find many places for dinner that served excellent food, but no beer, or I could find several establishments that served beer along with mediocre food.  It seemed it was very difficult to find somewhere that had both.

A client had insisted on taking me out for the [Friday] evening and despite my very best efforts at refusal; I had failed miserably.  I had been taken to a great Banana Leaf Curry restaurant that was actually a great experience that you should try.  Having been fed, I was ready for a beer.

I try to be aware of different cultures when I travel and I was aware that Malaysia is a Muslim country, and as such many of the people that live and work there may not drink alcohol.  It took about an hour after dinner before I eventually asked if we could find a beer.

My hosts graciously accommodated my request (and luckily for me it turned that they did drink, albeit occasionally) by taking me to The Library.

There are a couple of branches of The Library in KL.  These are large, noisy and expensive bars that I think target tourists and a certain type of local that my hosts were not; I do not think they would have made a visit here if I had not been in town.  My hosts took me to the Mid Valley shopping mall branch, as we walked from the car park I could hear the bar long before I could see it.  There was some pop music on and it was loud!  As I entered there was a stage with a singer setting up some kit, a fairly large bar towards the back if the venue and lot of tables of different types with seats around.  It was very smoky and several tables had one or more ‘Towers’ on them.  A Tower looks like a large ice blender with a section full of ice down the centre and some 4 litres of lager around it.  It seemed that Carlsberg was big here.

We were greeted by a server and informed that the only table available was a tall table (think bar stools) near the bar at the back, and away from the stage.  I was confident that none of our party was here for the singer, and I was pretty sure that we wouldn’t be staying for any more than one drink so we took this table.

There were 5 in our party and 4 of us were about to order beer which came to the same price as a Tower.  We went ahead and ordered a tower and a cocktail for the 5th person.

Our Tower didn’t take long to arrive and we were all looking at the ice-cold beer unable to drink it, as the cocktail had not arrived.  Despite me asking, enquiring and then demanding, the cocktail took a full 15 minutes to arrive.  The staff had no interest in my predicament or me, and just told me over and over again that they were very busy.

The atmosphere here was very strange – and not in a good way.  Most of the tables were taken up by groups of young men; women were in very limited supply.  The smoke was exceptionally heavy and the heat was immense.

Suffice to say that we left after our drinks and vowed never to return!  There was a food menu here, although on the night we visited not a single person had food.  I certainly couldn’t have imagined eating in the pub with all the smoke.  The menu offered nachos, pasta, burgers and the like – all at 5 or more times the price of food available elsewhere.

If you are looking for a big night of drinking then this is probably the place in KL for you – drinking was plentiful.  If you were really lucky, you just might just get lucky and bag one of the very limited supply of women; they are likely to think you are as beautiful as you do them after all that beer…

The Library, Lot GE-01 & E-02, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur.  Website

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